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October 18, 2012 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-10-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Senior year countF

Senior year of high school is busy. There are college

applications to complete, prom plans to make, and

graduation ceremonies to celebrate. Add the

infectious disease of senioritis and finishing strong

slides down the list of priorities for many students.

Last year, Michigan State University received a

record number of freshman applications—more

than 30,000. Application volumes this large mean

tougher admissions criteria and stringent senior

grade reviews for each student. Getting an

acceptance letter isn't a ticket to coasting through

senior year.

If you're the parent of a student who's planning to

head to college next fall, here are five tips from

MSU's Office of Admissions to guide you and your

student through senior year of high school:

1. Stay focused on grades. There is no substitute for
a strong GPA. Your student should strive to

maintain—or even improve—an already

impressive GPA.

2. Keep it challenging.

The best high

school transcripts

will show consistent

Center marks 10 years as hub of MSU Jewish life

For the past decade, the Lester and

Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student

Center has served as a vibrant hub for

Jewish life at Michigan State


This year, MSU Hillel is celebrating the

10th anniversary of the opening of

the center, which is located at 360

Charles St. in East Lansing.

"This building symbolizes the

renaissance of Jewish life at MSU,"

says Cindy Hughey, MSU Hillel

executive director.

In October 2000, Patti Phillips learned

that her father, Lester J. Morris,

The Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center, located at 360
Charles St. in East Lansing, will host a tailgate before the MSU versus Nebraska
football game on November 3 in celebration of its 10th year as the hub of

Jewish life at MSU.

wanted to contribute to a new Hillel
building at MSU. Morris passed away the evening following that conversation, but Phillips, who had

attended MSU and has served as president of the MSU Hillel board of directors, kept his desire close

to her heart.

Later that year, when Hughey and leadership from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

initiated a capital campaign for a new Hillel building, Phillips's family's foundation—the Meyer and

Anna Prentis-Morris Wagner Support Foundation—provided the naming gift for the new facility.

grades in

"My father strongly believed in the youth and their Judaism," Phillips says. "We decided that since

challenging classes.

Dad loved kids and Mom loved kids, this would be the right thing to do."

A senior-year

schedule should be

designed to best

prepare your

student for college

The Lester J. Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center was dedicated in fall 2002, and the new building

resulted in an increase in the number of students utilizing resources. Students started coming to

MSU Hillel to study; attend meetings, events, Shabbat dinners, and Sunday brunches; or to just

hang out.

and include at least

With more students and the need for more space, MSU Hillel launched a second capital campaign in

three core

2008, which made possible the construction of the building's Hattie and Moses Morris Wing. The

academics per term.

building was then rededicated as the Lester and Jewell Morris Hillel Jewish Student Center, to honor

Advanced classes

both Phillips's father and mother.

impress and say that your student is ready for

college-level work.

3. Stay involved. Don't let your student stop
participating in clubs or organizations. Balancing

work, social activities, family obligations, and

outside activities is a critical skill needed for

college and later in a profession.

4. Personal statement. Be sure your student takes
the time to proofread each essay on college

"I'm really proud that we did this as a family," Phillips says. "I'm proud to have my parents' names on

the building. It is so beautiful and homey. I just love it."

Today, about 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students participate regularly in MSU Hillel

activities and consider the center a home away from home.

"Having our own center on campus both for Jewish students and the broader community is great,"

says Alex Waldman of Bloomfield Township, an international relations senior and Jewish Student

Union president. "This house is what unifies us—we all come here to connect, not only on a

religious level but on a cultural one as well."

applications. Nothing looks worse to an MSU

admissions counselor than an essay that reads, "I

can't wait to be a Wolverine at Michigan State


5. Pay attention to deadlines. Make sure you don't
miss important deadlines for applications and

scholarships. At MSU, applications should be

submitted by November 1 for maximum

consideration for all scholarships.

"I'm so proud of how far we've come in 10 years,"

Join the MSU Hillel celebration at
360 Charles St., East Lansing,
before the Nebraska versus MSU
football game on November 3.
Visit msuhiliel.org for more

Hughey says, noting that MSU Hillel now provides

students with enrichment and leadership

opportunities through more than 200 programs

each year.

"Our students, board of directors, staff, and

countless others have all helped build this

wonderful community," she says.

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